Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baklava Bites

I fell in love with Baklava last year. It's a Middle Eastern Pastry that is made with layers of Phyllo dough, soaked in honey and filled with nuts. Amazing. We had gotten an apartment in Vienna for a week or so while Ben worked on some projects and there was a tiny Turkish shop down the street with this AMAZING Baklava that I would buy on my way to the park every day. 

Since then I have wanted to try making it, but only until Easter felt up to the challenge. Unfortunately I went to the regular grocery store and even though I felt confident they would have Phyllo dough, they didn't. In vain, I tried to explain to the sales clerk that I needed this special dough that is Greek and very thin and you make pastries out of it (try THAT in broken German) and she lit up and showed me the regular puff pastry for making strudel, which is totally not what I needed. BOO. So I picked up a puff pastry, smiled politely and thought that I was going to figure out a way to make Baklava with puff pastry, come hell or high water.

Luckily, the internet came to the rescue and there are a million different ways of making Baklava, although this is not the traditional way of doing it.

I KNOW they must have Phyllo dough around here someplace, but I will have to try the different Middle Eastern speciality shops until I find them. And then there will be a Baklava round two!

1 package puff pastry (16 oz), room temperature
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together nuts, sugar , spices and salt until well mixed. In another bowl, melt the butter and then add the honey and mix it well, then pour honey mixture into the nut mixture.

Roll out the puff pastry. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 2x4 inch (5x10 cm) strips. Place a Tbsp of filling in each strip, then fold the pastry onto itself to make a pocket. You may need to wet your fingers with water to help seal the edges. Also, feel free to stuff these babies full. I had a few with less filling that weren't as good.

Place the bites on the baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastries are puffed and golden. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container.

1 comment:

Melinda said...

I love baklava too!! This version looks totally Croatian. Delicious but definitely not as sweet!